Hardware Required for a Webinar
- iMac or MacBook Pro
- Focusrite Saffire PRO 14 (or equivalent)
- Webcam (Logitech C920 HD Webcam recommended)
Software Required for a Webinar
- Cam Twist
- Webcam Settings
- Saffire MixControl
- Reflector (optional)
- ScreenFlow (optional)
- Adobe Audition (optional)
Other Things You’ll Need for a Webinar
- Google+ account
- YouTube channel
- WordPress site (optional)
- IX Show Latest YouTube
- Email List (optional)
- Media Temple (dv) web hosting
Selecting a Webinar Platform
Google Hangouts On Air is, without a doubt, the very best platform for your live webinar. It’s easy to use, intuitive, has plenty of add-ons and best of all is completely free whether you’re hosting a webinar for 10 or 10,000 people!
Creating a Webinar on Google+
The first thing you’ll want to do is create your Hangouts On Air the right way inside Google+. Set a date and time and then Start a Hangout On Air by clicking the button available in the Hangouts section of Google+. You can then go live with your webinar now or later (in the future). I recommend the latter option, as you will then have the time to pre-promote your webinar to ensure the maximum amount of people know about it and will attend. Give it a name, description, set the date and time, select your audience (Public will give maximum exposure) then click Share. Your live webinar details will immediately be shared with your Google+ followers.
Adding Your Webinar to a WordPress Site
Next, it’s time to ensure there’s a page on your WordPress site. That way you may push traffic to your own website instead of the Hangouts event page on Google+. I’d recommend a page such as your domain/live. You can embed your webinar using a plugin that will automatically update with your latest webinar – IX Show Latest YouTube. This works fantastically well and when you’re not broadcasting your webinar live, it will simply show a beautiful countdown to your next event.
Setting Up Video for your Webinar
I like to use Cam Twist to ensure the visuals for my webinar will be beautiful. There are many advanced features to Cam Twist, but for me, I just need three elements:
- I click Select on Webcam as my first video source and make sure my HD Pro Webcam C920 is the camera selected.
- I use the PIP (picture in picture) button to add PIP Desktop which is handy for sharing my desktop.
- I also add PIP Movie using the PIP button. This allows me to play pre-recorded movie clips in the webinar if I wish.
Setting Up Audio for your Webinar
Audio is a tricky thing to route around, but it may all be done using a single audio interface and your iMac. Here’s a guide as to how I set up everything myself.
The first thing I would do is install Soundflower Bed, which is completely free. This allows you to re-route audio inside your iMac.
You’ll only need to configure audio for Cam Twist if you intend to play pre-recorded movie clips using PIP Movie. This is easy to do; just head to Preferences > General and select Soundflower (64ch) as your audio output device.
Now it’s over to LadioCast and I configure it exactly as the screenshot shows.
Input 1 is Saffire (my audio interface) for my microphone, so that I can speak live on the webinar. Input 2 is Soundflower (2ch), which I can assign in Adobe Audition and this will allow me to play the output of Adobe Audition to those watching my live webinar.
Main Output is Soundflower (64ch), a virtual audio device created by Soundflower, and Aux Output 1 is the Saffire which will allow me to also hear Adobe Audition output in addition to my audience.
This software comes with my audio interface, and ensures that I can hear everything while the webinar is going on. I set it up as the screenshot shows.
The most important setting is to have the Monitor Preset set to Quad, so that you can hear output on speakers and headphones during your live webinar.
During my live webinars from Audio Production Masters, I like to play the output of Adobe Audition. I can do this by configuring the input and outputs to be Soundflower (2ch), which will then be routed through to the webinar using the settings that I have explained earlier in LadioCast.
Google Hangouts Audio Settings
Your input should be Soundflower (64 ch); output can be your audio interface.
Webinar Optional Extras
Here are some nice-to-have apps and services that can help to make your live webinars even better!
This is so amazingly simple to use. Install Reflector App and then AirPlay your iOS device (iPad or iPhone) to your iMac.
Use ScreenFlow to pre-record sections for your webinar. It’s simple to use and can record your screen, audio output and even allow you to place callouts and text on the recordings. You can use it in conjunction with Reflector App to record your iOS device in action.
An email list will help tremendously with building an audience for your live webinar. It’s great doing a live event online, but if nobody turns up then what’s the point? Start collecting email opt-ins now and make sure to email at least twice before you start a webinar – I recommend using GetResponse.
Media Temple (dv) dedicated server plan is $50 per month and well-worth it if you will be hosting at least one high traffic webinar on your own website per month.